Egypt shuts down the internet on eve of protest as the world community gathers

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Raw video from the Associated Press

Issandr El-Amrani reports that the internet has been shut down in Egypt as of 1 in the morning before the big demo. And not long after a horrifying AP video went up of a man being shot (above), and of shotgun shells in the streets. Where is Obama?

Mohammed El-Baradei in that video: “The right of peaceful demonstration is an absolute right of every human being. I wish that we didn’t have to go to the streets to impress on the regime that it has to change.”

Just caught Joe Biden on PBS News Hour squirming about Egypt, rejecting the analogy to eastern Europe, and urging “dialogue.” As if Mubarak will give up power that way.

How can you help the Egyptian people?? Go to this campaign by Access to preserve internet access for the brave and inspiring voices in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and Suez. There you can donate bandwidth on your site and donate a few dollars (why not 10 each?) “to help keep the protest movement alive by contributing funds for the urgent setup of servers that will help people reach blocked sites like Twitter. 100% of your donation will go to supporting those behind the firewall. Help us by clicking here.” There’s also a petition at the site.

More Egypt: Here’s an organizing guide to “How to Rise Up,” apparently for the big demo that will start after prayers Friday. Note the recommended outfit, page 10, hoodie, sneakers, potlid for shield, aerosol can for self-defense (think what the Israelis would do if you whipped out an aerosol can?) and flowers for a silent vigil the organizers seem to be planning.

Also from El-Amrani: an account from a college professor of being stomped and sexually assaulted by Egyptian police during the demo yesterday.

Helena Cobban sees the end of the US-Israel “imperium” in the Middle East.

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